Foster And Brown Research


Consumer Research

Consumer acceptability is the key to a successful product. By systematically measuring consumer response and motivation in a scientific manner one is able to make accurate predictions on such things as identifying key ingredient levels, the consequences of manipulation of a formulation, pricing points, marketing platforms and brand positioning. Exploring not only the consumer’s perception of a product, but also their evaluation in functional and emotional terms, gives a significant advantage in today’s competitive market place.

Consumer Acceptance

“Will they buy my product?"

We scientifically measure consumer response and motivation. The high quality data we gather enables us to understand and make accurate predictions on sales, pricing points and successful marketing platforms based on real behaviour

Consumer Perception

“What will make them buy my product?"

Using the latest techniques, we are able to gain an insight into how consumers actually perceive products and identify gaps and trends.

We can gain an accurate insight into how consumers actually perceive products and the market by using sound methodological approaches (both quantitative and qualitative) and analysing the responses using modern statistical, multivariate tools. These enable us, amongst other things, to identify gaps and trends and by including company and product images, novel marketing ideas and “ideal” positions. Consumers’ attitudes and behaviour around products can be examined using a wide variety of techniques such as in-depth interviewing, language profiling, implicit testing, observational behavioural studies and group dynamics. These enable us to explore in-depth the consumer's functional and emotional response to products.

Consumer Evaluation

“What are the key elements and priorities?"

We provide a sophisticated evaluation service of consumers' attitudes to products. Expertise in group dynamics enables us to explore in-depth the participants' functional and emotional responses to products. Using mathematical modelling techniques, we are able to overcome the subjectivity of language and avoid translator bias in international research.

Consumer Psychology

Consumer psychology is the study of human responses to product and service related information and experiences. Many responses are relevant, including affective (emotional), cognitive (beliefs and judgments), and behavioural (purchase decisions and consumption-related practices) responses. A broad range of product and service related information is relevant, including marketer initiated stimuli (e.g. advertisements, package labels, coupons, point-of-purchase displays), consumer magazines, and word-of-mouth communications from friends and relatives. Responses to information about products and services are influenced by three major factors:

  • person variables (e.g. personality variables, prior attitudes and opinions)
  • situational variables (e.g. marketer initiated stimuli, product variables)
  • person by situation interactions

The goals of consumer psychologists are to describe, predict, influence, and/or explain consumer responses to products and services. The success of a business enterprise can be increased with thorough research and advice leading to the effective development and marketing of products and services. We also influence the welfare of the consumer by providing information to companies and consumers on products and services that best satisfy the needs of the public.

The field of consumer psychology itself brings together and integrating other psychological disciplines into an applied research endeavour, and contributing its own theories and methodologies to other areas of psychology. Research Methods in Consumer Psychology

Research methods are the foundation for all projects and any advances depend critically on the quality and sophistication of available research methods. Fortunately, the most advanced research methods used in cognitive, social, developmental, and clinical psychology - such as covariance structure modelling, response latency-based methodologies, and computer simulation can also be found in consumer psychology. Sophisticated physiological measures, scale development procedures, and multivariate statistical techniques are also used by consumer psychologists and sensory researchers are areas we specialise in at Foster and Brown Research. We work with split second research, a market research company that specialises in neuromarketing and implicit reaction time testing.

Experiments are designed so that alternative explanations for a cause-effect relationship are ruled out until ideally only one-explanation remains. Questionnaires are designed so that question-wording effects, order effects, memory biases, and response-scale effects are minimized. The appropriate statistical procedures are used to control for sampling error and for other sources of variation in subjects' responses, and finally great care and attention is taken so that the most appropriate respondents are recruited for each study. This attention to detail and scientific approach means that our clients have the confidence that they are making strategic decisions with the best information.

Evaluation Framework

We collaborated with Gloucestershire County Council and OPM Group (now known as Traverse) to produce a software version of an Evaluation Framework for use in targeted children services.

The purpose of this product was to create a high quality evidence base for use in children's services. The evaluation framework recognised the type and extent of needs amongst children and young people who work with targeted services demonstrating their progress, over an agreed timeline. The evaluation framework used a model developed by OPM to compare the cost of interventions alongside associated social benefits and financial savings arising as a consequence.

Data was shown at individual levels (to inform practitioners records); and at aggregate levels for all children supported by each intervention, and more broadly with each provider in the local authority and county wide.

The tool was developed to enable practitioners, managers and commissioners to see the social and financial impact of their work as well as cost. In addition, online surveys were developed to be able to appreciate the views of children and their families about what they have achieved in taking part in local interventions.

The tool enables practitioners, managers and commissioners to measure:

  • the progress of children over an agreed timeline
  • the cost of interventions
  • the financial impact of interventions (drawing from a range of seminal studies and published local authority and government published statistics to appraise the benefits of change for families and communities)
  • the views of children and families about the level of change and sustainability of progress which has been achieved following interventions

The tool can compare and contrast at a glance how different teams are doing in the light of the different challenges for different children whom children services are working with.

It was hoped that the Evaluation Framework would help to drive up standards and encourage a professional conversation across and within teams about what works and why.

It was a fascinating project and the software was completed. However, the project was not taken forward within Gloucestershire. If you are interested in knowing more about what we achieved and whether it could form part of a project within your own children's services, please contact us.